The U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has accused Iran of destabilizing the world, compared it to the aggressive and isolated North Korea, and said the Trump administration was reviewing the U.S. decision to lift economic sanctions as part of the 2015 nuclear program. President Trump has also said that Iran was doing a disservice to an agreement he has repeatedly called terrible.
While the Trump administration has argued that Iran is not living up to the spirit of the agreement, they recently certified to Congress that Iran is complying with the nuclear pact, which would allow the extension of the agreement.
This agreement was meant to increase foreign investment options for Iran, as well as allow it to resume oil sales, all in an effort to jump-start its economy. Iran has been extremely isolated internationally due to these sanctions. But the agreement only lifted secondary sanctions and many of the U.S. sanctions remain in place, making it difficult for companies to navigate investing in Iran without cutting off their ties to the U.S. marketplace, which is significantly larger. These are sanctions related to Iran’s terrorist activities and maintaining its ballistic missile program.
However, hardliners in Iran believe that the U.S. is bluffing, because it would be risking a diplomatic crisis with the five other signatories, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia. This group includes some key allies of the U.S. on a variety of international issues.
“On one hand, he and others in the U.S. administration confirm that Iran has abided by the terms of the nuclear agreement, and on the other hand, they threaten Iran and draw parallels to North Korea,” said Abdullah Gangi, editor of the Javan daily newspaper, which is seen as a mouthpiece of the IRGC. “The new U.S. administration tries to mask its own domestic problems and illegitimacy by accusing Iran of sponsoring terrorism or nuclear noncompliance from time to time. These are sheer lies and irrelevant.”
Yet, when it comes to discussions about the destabilizing impact of Iran in the region, the U.S. administration has no problem taking aim at the regime.
“If we are speaking honestly about conflict in the Middle East, we need to start with the chief culprit: Iran and its partner militia, Hezbollah,” said Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the U.N. “Iran and Hezbollah conspire together to destabilize the Middle East, and their actions are expanding.” As part of her testimony, Haley also accused Iran of arming Houthi militants in Yemen, training militias in Iraq, and called into question its role in Syria.
Part of her request as President of the Security Council in the month of April was to focus the debate of the Middle East to the broader topic of terrorism and not the traditional topic of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“The U.S. and the Israeli regime want to remove the Palestinian issue, that is central to all the conflicts in the Middle East from these open debates,” said Iran’s U.N. Ambassador Gholamali Khoshroo in reply to Haley’s remarks. “Today, we heard unsubstantiated allegations against my country which I categorically reject as a misleading propaganda campaign against Iran and its role in the region.”
Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon spoke on the issue of Iran terror, saying, “Where there is terror, where there is death, where there is complete disregard for human life, there is Iran.”